U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


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Published in Beef Research Program Progress Report (1988) No. 3: iv-v


The U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (U.S. Meat Animal Research Center) was authorized by Congress on June 16, 1964, thereby creating a single facility that provides an unusual opportunity for making major contributions to the solution of problems facing the U.S. livestock industry. Development of the 35,000-acre facility started in the spring of 1966and is continuing at the present time. Phase I construction, consisting of an office-laboratory building for intensive investigations, was completed in January 1971.These facilities provide a physical plant for 42 scientists and about 200 support personnel. Phase II construction, consisting of the Meats Research Laboratory and the Biological Engineering Building, was completed in October 1977 and provides a physical plant for 25 scientists and about 60 support personnel. Phase III construction will provide for an Animal Health Systems Research Laboratory and a Veterinary Service- Training Facility. Both buildings are scheduled for completion in August 1989 and will accommodate 15 professional and 25 subprofessional employees.

Approximately 50 percent of the research program is devoted to beef cattle, 30 percent to swine, and 20 percent to sheep. Current research program objectives require breeding-age female populations of approximately 7,250 cattle (18 breeds), 4,250 sheep (10 breeds), and 600 swine litters (4 lines) to carry out the various experiments.

The research program at the Center is organized on a multidisciplinary basis and is directed toward providing new technology for the U.S.livestock industry by extending investigations into new areas not now being adequately studied. The research program complements research conducted elsewhere by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is cooperative with the University of Nebraska Agricultural Research Division and other land grant university agricultural experiment stations throughout the country.

On October 10, 1978, the President signed into law a bill renaming the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center the Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center. The purpose of the bill was to honor former Nebraska Senator Roman L. Hruska for "his efforts in the establishment of a centralized facility for the research, development, and study of meat animal production in the United States."